Northland is committed to full-spectrum sustainability. Our new Hulings Rice Food Center (HRFC), which combines certified kitchens, composting, and demonstration gardens is a great example of this. HRFC provides the space and equipment needed to move towards our eighty percent local food goal while providing educational space for students. The facility allows Northland to receive large shipments of local fruits and vegetables; freeze, dry, and can these products; and store them for off-season use. The Center also holds our enormous food composting equipment.
HRFC is a place for food producers, students, and faculty to come together to learn, teach, and research issues around food, sustainability, and economic vitality in rural communities. Future plans are to establish the Food Systems Institute, an overarching program that includes the HRFC along with an integrated academic focus around sustainable agriculture. Our hope is that the Institute serves as a model for other communities that are challenged by rural location, growing seasons, or food sovereignty.